Here’s our recent debate from the show The Doctors:
HPV Vaccine One Doctors Opinion
Vaccines have changed the face of disease around the world. The polio vaccine was introduced to the US in 1955 and it’s innovation eventually lead to the complete eradication of polio from the Western hemisphere. That’s huge!!! Smallpox had been around since 10,000 BC killing not just towns, but populations around the world. Smallpox was such a deadly disease that it was used as a weapon to kill an estimated 90% of Native Americans. Once the vaccine entered the scene, it was so effective, that by 1980 the smallpox virus was wiped out globally, and it was no longer considered a threat. Each year influenza vaccines protect millions against serious disease, flu complications, and death. Vaccines are extremely important and are mostly effective in what they aim to do.
I will be one of the first doctors to assert that vaccines have improved the global health landscape in major ways. I do trust proven vaccines. Vaccines that have improved the lives of people around the world, vaccines that have saved millions, vaccines where the risks associated with the injection outweigh the risk of not getting the injection, and vaccines that have globally eradicated or wiped out particular illnesses. My problem with the HPV vaccine is that it just doesn’t fit into that mold.
I feel better going public with my distrust of the vaccine after three key factors. First, a doctor who was a part of the research team for Gardasil came forward to acknowledge that the vaccine and it’s marketing had some shortcomings. The second most recent event, the Japanese government decided that they would no longer recommend the vaccine for their citizens citing public concern over adverse events; and third and certainly not last is that the adverse events connected to the vaccine, anecdotes, and horror stories continue to surface. With these three factors I had to ask myself, does the benefit of this vaccine for the people in my life, outweigh the potential risks associated with administration of the vaccine? No matter how many times I present the data to myself, it does not.